Rape laws vary across the United States jurisdictions. However, rape is federally defined even though individual state definitions may differ for statistical purposes as: . Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim. Laws use various terms to define aspects of instances of rape or sexual assault, including the acts themselves, the alleged perpetrator and the alleged victim, and whether they are or have been married to each other or someone else. Furthermore, each state or federal agency may define sexual consent differently, if they do so at all.
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Age of consent reform is an effort to change age of consent laws. Proposed reforms typically include raising, lowering, or abolishing the age of consent, applying or not applying close-in-age exemptions, changing penalties, or changing how cases are examined in court. A related issue is whether or not to apply ages of consent to homosexual relationships that are different from those applied to heterosexual relationships. Organized efforts have ranged from academic discussions to political petitions. There have been many initiatives to raise and lower the age of consent. Gratian , a canon lawyer in the 12th century, stated that females and males could not consent to betrothal before 7 years of age and consent could not take place for marriage sexual intercourse before 12 years of age for females and 14 years of age for males.
Age of consent reform